Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions. Use "Verse News Submission" as the subject line. Send a brief bio. No payment. Authors retain all rights after 1st-time appearance here. Scroll down the right sidebar for the fine print.

Monday, November 17, 2014


by Patrick Cole

Anith Jones of Merrillville. Image source: NBC Chicago / Twitter

Afrikka Hardy in Hammond Indiana.
Strangled in a Motel 6.
A woman whose body was found.

Anith Jones of Merrillville.
Missing since October 8.
A person later discovered.

Names enforce anonymity. And the
other words about the murdered
have their rhythm, an odd tick-tocking
bone-xylophone: logic plays drums,
not strings, brass or woodwinds.

A second victim had been identified,
the keyboard scats in rigid clacks.
The coroner’s office on Sunday said
the woman was 19.  A man, 43,
admitted to the killing. Police arrived
and searched the empty home.
Her wounds were left unspecified,
and the death was ruled a homicide. They
discovered Hardy's body 9:30 p.m. on Friday.

It shuts you up, living thing. No comment.
So much impossible to know. Care rots like
old rubber, hardens, cannot bounce. Our glory
was just being here – but we are tainted by
the inevitable, the possible, the likely and the
unlikely, all equally.

It’s too bad the newspapers collapsed –
they could be folded, and maybe smacked
on a table, or if called for, burned in a rusty barrel.
But even when left alone, on bended shelves or
concrete floors, they always faded, they had

that decency, to molder, silent, away.

A story by Patrick Cole appears in the Writing That Risks anthology, and others were in recent issues of The Conium Review, Conclave, and Rivet. His work has also been published in Parcel (Pushcart Prize nominee), High Plains Literary Review (also a Pushcart Prize nominee), Agni online, Nimrod International, 34th Parallel, and turnrow. Cole’s one-act play was a finalist in the Knock International Play Competition and was produced in Seattle.